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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween!  You see this great masks we have on?  Jessica (Warner) sent all of us a Halloween care package full of candy, cards and a mask!  Thank you Jessica!  We all love you and miss you!  You will have to look at my facebook to see all of the silly pictures that we took while Dad and Michele were here just a bit ago!  I love spontaneous fun!  Elizabeth pulled out the costume box and that was all she wrote!  My dad looks so good and I am so thankful.   I put on a roast this morning and Dad and Michele stayed for dinner.  Pat and I went to church this morning...just where we wanted to be.  Pat is feeling good, just weak.  We are looking forward to being home this week and pray for some normalcy.  Matt was here this weekend and we just told him good-bye.  It is hard for him to go back to school and I ask you to specifically be in prayer for him.  The Ranger games has started and I think I feel a Win!  


Paige
xoxo 
Dad & Michele
What?  You don't own a pair of these?







Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rangers Win!


Ranger Play Offs
Home sweet home again! Oh I loved seeing sweet Matt's face and his friend, Colby, as they met us at the gate at the airport.  Guess what?  I told Matt that he was driving home and was he surprised!  I did try to sit in the backseat and not say too many times that he was driving too fast!  Pat and I were craving some good old junk food, but the closest we came to that was getting fajitas to go. It was good and the boys were here to eat with us.  Elizabeth, if you may recall, is at the World Series!  Go Rangers!  As I type this it is Rangers 4 and Giants 1.  On the plane ride home I was praying and thanking God.  I started praying and journaling in 1995.  I bought four books for a $1 from Crossings Magazine and one of the books I bought was "Let Prayer Change Your Life" by Becky Tirabassi.  In her book, Becky taught me how to  pray and how to journal.  She teaches you to begin by praising God, followed by confession of your sins and asking for forgiveness.  The next steps are prayer requests or petitions and thanksgiving. Sometimes praise would not flow as easy as thanksgiving or prayer requests as those are simple. I feel like I have always had so much to be thankful for in my life.  But as I was praying on the flight, praising God just flowed from my lips.  God has been so faithful and so intimate with me.  I can see how sovereign He is.  He is trustworthy, loyal and good.  Oh there are many requests that I keep asking, but it felt so good to just praise Him. It was real.  Everything in your and my life  goes through God's hands.  He knows every detail of our life before we were born, therefore He is trustworthy through it all.   Fear takes hold of me though.  Fear of the unknown, failed hopes and dreams, disappointment and just plain scared to surrender it all.  I still choose Him.  Although our life since 2008 has been full of change, heartache and great surprises, it has been the sweetest.  God started pruning those things and ideas in my life that I thought were important.  Pruning is hard to take and sometimes painful, but he just wants to transform us and makes us more like Him.  Gosh, he sure has a lot more to do with me.    Enjoy your weekend!  Rangers won!  We love you!
Paige
xoxo  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Golden Treet

Hey there!  Rangers, please step it up!  Today has had some good and bad to it.  This morning we had some breakfast and then met with some old friends from Arkansas.  Sue and Bob Carter drove in for a visit.  Their son, John, has been friends with Pat since junior high.  They were such a treat and kept us laughing.  I have attached a picture of them with Pat in front of the living tree.  My sister, Kelly, came after lunch and is spending the night here in Tulsa.  Gosh, there is nothing like a sister!  More great news is that we met with the oncologist assessment nurse, Cathy, and she was so pleased with Pat's blood work.  She was excited that he responded to chemo so fast.  His iron is low, but we will meet with a dietitian in the morning to help guide us in the nutrition that will help increase his iron.  His bilirubin numbers are normal....thank you Lord for this good news.  Sadly, Pat has had a rough day with nausea and throwing up.  That happened after lunch a couple of times and it really wiped him out for the rest of the evening.  After dinner, Kelly drove us over to Academy to pick up a few things Pat needed.  Now we are watching the game and going to bed soon.  Please pray for Pat tomorrow as he has a busy day.  After 8:30 AM he cannot have anything by mouth as he will have his port put in about 12:30 PM.  Prior to that we will meet with Pain Management also in the morning.  Following recovery after the port placement, Pat will have his second round of chemo.  We plan to fly home Saturday morning on a 6:00 AM flight.  Hope you have a great night!  By the way, thanks for praying for good rest for me last night.  I slept until 7:00 this morning and felt so much better.  Those prayers work and they are carring us!  We love you!

In His Grip,
Pat & Paige
PS  Elizabeth, Matt & Garrett, we miss you and love you! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Go Rangers


Hey there!  You will probably read this later as you are watching the Ranger game.  I am also, but I m a multi-tasker!  We have our feet up now at the Holiday Inn across the street.  What is so cool is that we get the same rate as the Cancer Center of $40 a night.  But at the Holiday Inn, we have a King Suite. The Center flew Pat and I up here this morning.  They will pay my airfare this time, but they will always pay for Pat's. When we arrived at the airport there was a lovely man holding an "Easterling" sign waiting to take us to the center and hotel. There is a shuttle every thirty minutes to and from the hotel. They also have shuttles to the local Target, the mall and other stores.  Our first appointment today was with the surgeon who will put in Pat's port on Friday. This small port will be placed under the skin near the shoulder and you won't be able to see it.  After being poked the past two weeks he is ready to get it.  We also met with a gastroenterologist doctor.  He believes that Pat's fever this week was probably caused by the bile duct.  It can get clogged with debris and this can cause a fever.  He says that this would not be unusual. We have a praise!  Pat's liver count (bilirubin) is almost down to normal.  The center held a patient appreciation dinner tonight.  We had several couples join us for dinner who then introduced us to other patients and caregivers who stopped by at the table to say hello.  The more we are here the more we are convinced that this is where we are suppose to be.  Many stories of healing were shared tonight.  Actually we met a girl who was married only three months ago named Carolyn. Her husband, Ray, has stage IV Pancreatic Cancer, which is the first couple that Pat and I have met who are dealing with the same cancer as we are. Her husband is newly diagnosed, but he was unable to come down for dinner.  They are from Addison and we are looking forward to chatting with them.  Pat has found a Pancreatic Support Group that we will be joining next month in Dallas at Presbyterian.  It will be helpful to share this journey with others that have this particular cancer.  This morning we had to get up at 4:15 and leave for the airport at 5:30 AM.  Lately I have been doing all of the driving due to Pat's pain medication. I just hate driving to the airport.  First of all, when I leave the driveway I feel like I am going to forget something important. Then I am having to drive faster than I like to.  We now have toll tags for a few of our cars due to the ball games that we travel to all over the metroplex.  That toll tag works for the airport too, but I thought there was a lane that you could drive straight through as you do on a toll road.  Nope.  I am driving beside the little gate (you know where the man gives you your ticket and takes your money) and wasn't planning on stopping until Pat says "Whoa, whoa, whoa".  Sure enough, the arm was down.  I slammed on my brake.  Pat is just mumbling under his breath.  So I had to back out because that gate was closed.  We made it to the terminal, but Pat was not happy, I was not happy, I was embarrassed and Elizabeth just kept on chatting.  I can almost smile about it, but not quite.  So, those who pray for my driving safety (Gordon, I know you do!) please continue.  I told Pat that we have many more miles to travel together and I will be driving most of it. Overall today has been a good day, but I won't lie.  We are exhausted, especially after checking out of the hospital yesterday.  So, I ask that you pray for strength and rest with the sleep we get each night.  Also, remember my kiddos.  Matt had a severe migraine today after being sick the past two days.  Elizabeth tried to care of his needs as well as getting Garrett to the ortho.  What a gift she has been. Basketball season started today with Garrett practicing before and after school.  The first game will be Monday, November 15th....can't wait! I want to take this time to send a short message to the ministers at First Baptist Church, where I work.  I was not able to join you guys for the Mexican Fiesta in your honor, but know that all of you mean so much to me.  I love my job and miss being with each of you every day.  Having you as our friends during this journey makes it so much easier. We wish you a good night and say "GO RANGERS!".  By the way, I am sporting my new Ranger t-shirt.

Hugs!
Pat & Paige

PS  That picture from the last post was Elizabeth touching up her mascara on the street with a floor length mirror that was in her trunk!  Go figure!!  
 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Going Home


We are going home from the hospital today. We are just waiting on the doctor to checkout. His blood count was good and his liver numbers are excellent, which was a concern for Tulsa as the lower the numbers, the better chance for additional chemo in the future. As far as our hospital stay they do not know what caused the fever. We also do not know if it was related to the chemo are not. We do leave for Tulsa in the morning on a 7:45 AM flight. We will see several more doctors and he will have his port put in followed by a chemo treatment. I am so thankful our treatment plan has not been diverted and we can continue on. Enjoy your day! This weather is my favorite of all the seasons. I want to leave you with the encouragement I received this morning: "I know that in spite of the difficulties, this is where we are supposed to be. God has placed us in a privileged position. God knew before we were born what would happen in our lives. This problem was no surprise to Him. God decided that there was a servant of His to whom He would give the privilege of marrying Pat. That servant is me. God appointed me and equipped me for the task before the  foundation of the world.    I read this in Priscilla Shirer's book, "A Jewel in His Crown". In her book she was talking to a young man who was newly married to his young wife and they were dealt the hand of her sickness. These words (which I inserted our names) she spoke to him to encourage him.  They encourage me.  I AM privileged to walk this journey with Pat.This gives me hope and confidence that God will equip us for what is ahead.  This is not just for Pat and I, but for Elizabeth, Matt and Garrett.  They are privileged too although painful. Lord, I thank you for your grace, your love and your intimate encouragement that I needed today.  Here we come, Burleson! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Are You Watching the Cowboys?

Are you watching the Cowboys?  I know Pat is and Garrett and Matt are?  Me....just listening!  It has been a good day.  The attending doctor came in today and said it is not pneumonia and the infectious disease doctor came in and said he can't find anything wrong on paper. He is also going to call Tulsa and consult with them.  The oncologist here at the hospital wants to do some more blood work tomorrow morning to check the liver to make sure that the stint is working properly and that there is no infection in that area.  Pat is eating good and has been joking around.  We have had a lot of visitors  and that has been great!  Matt had to go to the doctor today because he has strep and Garrett came home after school not feeling well.  Thank you to all of you that are taking care of my kiddos.  "Mom" not being home has been an adjustment for all of us.  Thankfully, God knew what we would need ahead as he had Elizabeth move back home after graduating.  I know that it is not the dream of a 23 year old college graduate, but I am so thankful I can trust that she is at home so I don't have to worry as much.  What an exciting time with the Rangers.  Can't wait until the World Series starts Wednesday.  Enjoy your night and sweet dreams!

It Is A Thankful Monday!


Good Morning!  It is Monday, but I appreciate them more and more.  But of course, I never know now what date it is.   By the way, purple is the color for Pancreatic Cancer. We are at Harris downtown.  Pat has pneumonia, but his fever is down and the nurse says his lung are sounding good.  I think we caught it early.  We would certainly like to keep our appointment in Tulsa on Wednesday as we do not want to delay any treatments.  The nurses have his pain managed and that is great that we have that under control. His appetite and spirits are good.  We haven't visited with a doctor yet, but hopefully soon and get some idea of  what the days ahead might look like.  I have to keep reminding myself that I really should just plan only one day at a time or even a half a day at a time.  I went down to the third floor here at Harris this morning to visit with Kim and Cathy our nurses from two weeks ago.  What special people they are and we definitely call them friends.  Harris Hospital has wonderful nurses that are compassionate and caring.  That is all I have to report on for now.  We love, love, love your well wishes on our guest book and on Facebook.  Not only are you encouraging Pat and I, but our kids and our family. Much love!

Pat& Paige
xoxo 
 

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Good morning!  We are home this morning and had planned to go to church, but Pat and I screwed the pain patch yesterday because we wiped his arm with alcohol before applying it.  Not the thing to do after we read the instructions.  I feel so bad.  He had a miserable night, but the pain patch should kick in in a little while. He is sleeping now, so I hope his relief comes soon.  It is so nice to be home and Cash is delighted.  This is so character building for me.  I have never had to play a role like this but on a temporary basis with dad.  Character for me is building patience and and to be selfless.  If you ever studied your personality (which we are at our church with PLACE Ministries) I am Sanguine and the following is the definition:  
 The sanguine personality, like the choleric, is extroverted and primary, acting first and thinking later. But, unlike the choleric, the sanguine is people centered, very focused on what other people say and think, how to get along with others, etc. The sanguine are fun-loving, creative, outgoing people, who only stop talking when they fall asleep. They are the ones who have lots of great ideas and fun new games to try. Most children naturally find their way to the backyard of the sanguine on the block, where something is always new and exciting. The downfall is that, while sanguine are bright and fun, they don't always follow through, and this can cause difficulties with family, friends, and work.  Strengths are: likable, social life, creative, enthusiastic, expressive, affectionate, innocent, and sincerity.  Weaknesses:  exaggeration, impulsive, restless or nervous, over imaginative and can lack manners (loves stories, emotional and can get angry as quick as they get happy, fidget, interrupt and get distracted).  
So there you have it.  Paige was just very transparent for you, but most of you know me quite well and you are nodding your head yep!  Would you like to read about Pat...I would like to tell you. A
re you a good business person, good sportsman, good planner? Do you like doing things efficiently? When you are sitting down or lying down, are you planning what you will be doing when you get up? Do some of your friends call you stubborn? Do some of your underlings say you drive them too hard? The choleric personality is extroverted, principle centered, and primary. This makes a personality that spends a lot of time with people, governs decisions by principles, and acts quickly and decisively. The choleric personality is often called "powerful choleric," because people who are choleric exude a sense of confidence, power, and strength. They believe in the ideal; they believe in themselves; they believe in others when they don't get in the way of themselves or the idea. The choleric person is a born leader, someone who takes an idea and makes it happen in an organized and effective manner. Strengths:  Effectiveness, leadership, productivity, determination, dynamism, justice, and passion.  Weakness:  stubborn, bossy, impatient, inflexible and unwilling to admit mistakes (Pat, I am just copying what the definition is...not necessarily you babe!).  We are depending on God to blend this all together for each other.  I am glad it is Sunday as we love this day.  God's word to me today:  "You must remain faithful to the things you have been taught.  You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you.  You have been taught the holy scriptures from childhood and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.  2 Timothy 2: 14-17. 

Cherish your day!
Pat & Paige
 
 

Pat Admitted to Harris

Pat has been admitted to Harris downtown because he has fever. Please pray. I'll keep you updated. 

Disappointed


Good morning!  We are home this morning and had planned to go to church, but Pat and I screwed the pain patch yesterday because we wiped his arm with alcohol before applying it.  Not the thing to do after we read the instructions.  I feel so bad.  He had a miserable night, but the pain patch should kick in in a little while. He is sleeping now, so I hope his relief comes soon.  It is so nice to be home and Cash is delighted.  This is so character building for me.  I have never had to play a role like this but on a temporary basis with dad.  Character for me is building patience and and to be selfless.  If you ever studied your personality (which we are at our church with PLACE Ministries) I am Sanguine and the following is the definition:  
 The sanguine personality, like the choleric, is extroverted and primary, acting first and thinking later. But, unlike the choleric, the sanguine is people centered, very focused on what other people say and think, how to get along with others, etc. The sanguine are fun-loving, creative, outgoing people, who only stop talking when they fall asleep. They are the ones who have lots of great ideas and fun new games to try. Most children naturally find their way to the backyard of the sanguine on the block, where something is always new and exciting. The downfall is that, while sanguine are bright and fun, they don't always follow through, and this can cause difficulties with family, friends, and work.  Strengths are: likable, social life, creative, enthusiastic, expressive, affectionate, innocent, and sincerity.  Weaknesses:  exaggeration, impulsive, restless or nervous, over imaginative and can lack manners (loves stories, emotional and can get angry as quick as they get happy, fidget, interrupt and get distracted).  
So there you have it.  Paige was just very transparent for you, but most of you know me quite well and you are nodding your head yep!  Would you like to read about Pat...I would like to tell you. A
re you a good business person, good sportsman, good planner? Do you like doing things efficiently? When you are sitting down or lying down, are you planning what you will be doing when you get up? Do some of your friends call you stubborn? Do some of your underlings say you drive them too hard? The choleric personality is extroverted, principle centered, and primary. This makes a personality that spends a lot of time with people, governs decisions by principles, and acts quickly and decisively. The choleric personality is often called "powerful choleric," because people who are choleric exude a sense of confidence, power, and strength. They believe in the ideal; they believe in themselves; they believe in others when they don't get in the way of themselves or the idea. The choleric person is a born leader, someone who takes an idea and makes it happen in an organized and effective manner. Strengths:  Effectiveness, leadership, productivity, determination, dynamism, justice, and passion.  Weakness:  stubborn, bossy, impatient, inflexible and unwilling to admit mistakes (Pat, I am just copying what the definition is...not necessarily you babe!).  We are depending on God to blend this all together for each other.  I am glad it is Sunday as we love this day.  God's word to me today:  "You must remain faithful to the things you have been taught.  You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you.  You have been taught the holy scriptures from childhood and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.  2 Timothy 2: 14-17. 

Cherish your day!
Pat & Paige
 
 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Made It Home

We made it home safe and sound from Tulsa. Driving in heavy rains was no fun but I did it with lots of prayer. It is so great to be home and looking forward to sleeping in my own bed in just a few minutes. Sweet dreams! 

Paige
Xoxo

Home Sweet Home

We made it home safe and sound from Tulsa. Driving in heavy rains was no fun but I did it with lots of prayer. It is so great to be home and looking forward to sleeping in my own bed in just a few minutes. Sweet dreams! 

Paige
Xoxo

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ready For Some Basketball

We have had such a full day and it is not even over.  We have had meetings since 9:30 this morning with a few breaks and a quick nap. This has been a hard day and probably one of the toughest so far.  So much information to digest and then understand.  This place is so organized.  When we arrived they gave us a brief case with our schedule and various information.  Every time we visit with a nurse or doctor they give us more handouts and instructions.  Each morning when we awake there is a schedule on the bulletin board outside our door, but they constantly change and add to it all day long.  This morning we met with the radiation doctor  We heard music to our ears when she told us that we will not be having radiation as of now.  That will require us to be here five days a week for five weeks.  They could add it later. She also confirmed the MRI results that Pat's brain is all clear.  We did a high five immediately and danced a bit in the hall when we left her office.  Our next stop was pain management.  His pain is so much better.  He said that when he woke yesterday morning that he felt so good that this bad dream ought to be over and we should be on our way home.  After lunch we met with Pat's new oncologist, Dr. Shrestha.  She has been here at the center for a very long time and as we have gone through the week we have only heard great things about her.  Pat's PET scan told was what we already know.  Chemotherapy will be begin tonight at 7 PM.  Chemo will be once a week for three weeks and then one week off.  Tomorrow morning we will head home, but we have to come back on Wednesday to meet with a gastroenterologist so that we make sure that the stent is working properly as our goal is to get his bilirubin down so another drug can be added to his chemotherapy.  He will determine at our meeting if he needs to do another ERCP (which was done at Harris during our stay).  Pat will also have his Port put in next week and then have chemotherapy on Friday.  Each time we come we will always visit with oncology, naturopathic, and nutrition teams as well as other outside services such as counseling or other ways to help in this journey.  After we met with oncology we met with Naturopathic.  This is not something you will see at other cancer centers.  They have put Pat on natural supplements that will help with his immune system, anti-inflammation, antioxidation and other supplements to help with anticancer effects.  Following that department we visited with the dietician who went over Pat's body fat and muscle density. He is to have a diet of high protein, grains, organic vegetables and fruits as well as low fat dairy and no sugar.  He also had to do preop for possible procedure for next week and port and he also had an EKG today.  So, you can see what kind of day today has been.  We will plan to fly up here every week and they will pay for Pat's airfare every week and mine the first week.  This will allow us to get home really quick and watch Garrett play some basketball this season....we can't wait!  I have attached a photo for your viewing pleasure!  Go Spartans!  I am going to accompany Pat to chemo so I am going to sign off for now.  This is going to be a tough road ahead and we can only focus on one day or moment at a time.  Prayer warriors, please take your positions!  All of our love!  We love you and we need you!
Paige & Pat
 
 

Reality


We have had such a full day and it is not even over.  We have had meetings since 9:30 this morning with a few breaks and a quick nap. This has been a hard day and probably one of the toughest so far.  So much information to digest and then understand.  This place is so organized.  When we arrived they gave us a brief case with our schedule and various information.  Every time we visit with a nurse or doctor they give us more handouts and instructions.  Each morning when we awake there is a schedule on the bulletin board outside our door, but they constantly change and add to it all day long.  This morning we met with the radiation doctor  We heard music to our ears when she told us that we will not be having radiation as of now.  That will require us to be here five days a week for five weeks.  They could add it later. She also confirmed the MRI results that Pat's brain is all clear.  We did a high five immediately and danced a bit in the hall when we left her office.  Our next stop was pain management.  His pain is so much better.  He said that when he woke yesterday morning that he felt so good that this bad dream ought to be over and we should be on our way home.  After lunch we met with Pat's new oncologist, Dr. Shrestha.  She has been here at the center for a very long time and as we have gone through the week we have only heard great things about her.  Pat's PET scan told was what we already know.  Chemotherapy will be begin tonight at 7 PM.  Chemo will be once a week for three weeks and then one week off.  Tomorrow morning we will head home, but we have to come back on Wednesday to meet with a gastroenterologist so that we make sure that the stent is working properly as our goal is to get his bilirubin down so another drug can be added to his chemotherapy.  He will determine at our meeting if he needs to do another ERCP (which was done at Harris during our stay).  Pat will also have his Port put in next week and then have chemotherapy on Friday.  Each time we come we will always visit with oncology, naturopathic, and nutrition teams as well as other outside services such as counseling or other ways to help in this journey.  After we met with oncology we met with Naturopathic.  This is not something you will see at other cancer centers.  They have put Pat on natural supplements that will help with his immune system, anti-inflammation, antioxidation and other supplements to help with anticancer effects.  Following that department we visited with the dietician who went over Pat's body fat and muscle density. He is to have a diet of high protein, grains, organic vegetables and fruits as well as low fat dairy and no sugar.  He also had to do preop for possible procedure for next week and port and he also had an EKG today.  So, you can see what kind of day today has been.  We will plan to fly up here every week and they will pay for Pat's airfare every week and mine the first week.  This will allow us to get home really quick and watch Garrett play some basketball this season....we can't wait!  I have attached a photo for your viewing pleasure!  Go Spartans!  I am going to accompany Pat to chemo so I am going to sign off for now.  This is going to be a tough road ahead and we can only focus on one day or moment at a time.  Prayer warriors, please take your positions!  All of our love!  We love you and we need you!
Paige & Pat
 
 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We Love Visitors!


Happy Thursday!  We had a great treat today!  My little sister, Kelly, my brother-in-law, Brian, and my niece and nephew, Brianna and Kelton stopped by and spent the morning with Pat and I.  It is fall break in Oklahoma and they are on their way to watch the OU game in Missouri.  My sister is so precious to me.  If you don't know her, she is the exact opposite but we look a lot alike.  First of all she is 5'8" and very soft spoken.  She is easy going, takes things in stride and loves numbers. They live in Yukon, Oklahoma, just outside of OKC.  She is a CPA and works for the IRS as an auditor (now that gives me comfort!) How I wish we lived closer to each other.  These past few weeks she has been right beside us!  We love that family so much.  Another good news is that pain management was able to get Pat's pain under control.  He is now wearing a pain path.  He feels better today than he has in several weeks.  Pat had his MRI this morning and that went well.  He doesn't like confined spaces, so that bothered him quite a bit.  Tomorrow we meet with the team here at the center to go over all of Pat's tests and listen to their treatment plan. In the lobby of the Center there is a "gold" tree on the wall.  If you have been cancer free for over five years, you are invited to put your name on a gold plate on the tree.  The tree almost filled to the top.  I want to take a picture so that you can see what I am describing.  What hope, love, prayer and encouragement we have received here every single day.  What an amazing place, but nothing like home.  We miss our routine, our jobs, friends/families, kids and Cash our dog.  Elizabeth said this afternoon that Cash is sad and not eating well.  It feels so good to journal here and love reading your words to us.  God Bless You!

Hugs!
Paige
xoxo 
 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bring On The Food!

Hello and we are hungry!  We had a high protein breakfast at 7AM this morning of eggs and bacon and that is pretty much it.  I told Pat and I am somethin else to "fast with him"!  He is having his PET scan as I type this (5:30 PM).  The radiologist asked if he could pray with us before we went in. He beautifully prayed about healing and God's promises.  What comfort we felt from him and his prayer.  The pain management nurse finished up our appointment and then she said "are you believers?"  When we answered yes, nothing but pure words of encouragement and blessings came out of her cheerful mouth as she talked about this cancer center.  She said that most all staff members are believers  and all in her department are.  We have had three people tell us that after they poured the concrete for this building, scripture was written on all the floors.  Pain management changed up Pat's pain medication.  He has been able to keep his pain at about a two, but they want his pain to be closer to zero.  If your body is fighting the cancer and the pain at the same time, it lowers his immunity.  They put him on a patch that he wears for three days and he can use his hydrocodone for any breakthrough pain.  Last night was the very first time I have ever woke at 3 in the morning and turned on a movie.  He had back and some shoulder pain, so we started the movie "The Soloist".  The movie was okay but too slow for us and we didn't see the ending.  This morning we met with a pastor here on staff.  Ron is a Baptist....so cool!  Just more confirmation.  He has been here at the center for seven years. Tomorrow morning we will have an MRI on Pat's brain.  They want to check every part of him so that we know definitely what we are dealing with.  We are praying for divine intervention right now before we get those results back.  Please let me tell you again how much your heartfelt words mean to us.  We love reading each and everyone and usually repeat.  We are suppose to turn toward the presence of God.  Come to Him  Wait for Him.  Look for Him.  Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." This was my word this morning as I read Angela Thomas' book.  If you carry a burden, look for Him.  Good night!  We love you!

In His Grip,
Paige
xoxo  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This Place Is A Hidden Jewel


Hey Hey!  We are back in our room for the night.  We just left a small prayer service here at the center which we were so glad that we attended.  Today was informative.  We began our day with patient registration and intake nurse interview.  This afternoon we met with a counselor who discussed the mind body and medicine aspect of the center.  Finally he was poked for blood.  We have a huge day tomorrow.  Pat has to eat breakfast before 8 AM and then he has to fast, bless his heart, until he has a PET scan tomorrow at 6 PM.  During the day we will meet with our Nurse Navigator.  She is our main contact here at the center and she makes sure that we are informed and that we have every question answered.  After lunch we meet with a pain management nurse and then he will have his PET Scan.  On Thursday he will have another MRI scan and meet with a nutritionist.  I won't get too far a head of the schedule as it is subject to change at any moment. Today we got a great laugh.  It was "decade day" at Centennial High School and Garrett dressed in old basketball attire.  The short shorts and the headband just killed me.  Garrett, thanks for making our day!  Miss you three and Cash!  Hope you had a good Tuesday.  We love you all!
Paige
xoxo 
 

Hey there!  We are in our room for about 30 minutes until our 1:00 appointment with a nurse.  We started our first appointment at 11.  The morning appointments were just signing papers, insurance, and patient relations.  The medical part begins this afternoon.  The food is good here, thank goodness.  The people who work are wonderful, kind and ready to assist you in a moments notice.  Every time I turn around I see something like a prayer request box, Bible studies, and couples praying at their table before a meal as well as a classes for care givers and patients.  I can assure you that there is not just "holy water" being thrown around as one of the doctors said last week regarding the Center.   Pat is feeling pretty good.  Still has back pain and then he has to take his pain meds which cause him to feel yucky (lack of a better word).  It looks like we will be here definitely to Friday afternoon as that is when the evaluation will be done.  Our desire is to make a decision on treatment by the end of the week.  
Gotta run!
Paige
xoxo
 
 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tulsa Bound


Pat & Cash Smilin!

Whew!  We made it but such a long drive.  The roads on 75 and others were pretty rough and bumpy for Pat's back.  We created a bed in the back so that he could rest while I drove.   Thank you for those who were specifically praying for our safety.  It is a good thing.  I was driving in the left hand lane on 75 coming out of Denison and I glanced over at one of those dorky Smart Cars and when I turned back to see the road the suburban in front of me was stopped.  I whipped around the suburban and passed three cars on my right while slamming on my brakes in the median.  Pat raises up and says "Paige what are you doing?  I can't have that."  I was so so frightened and thankful at the same time.  Those cars are dorky though!  As we were packing up this morning Dr. Ross' nurse called, he is our oncologist, and wanted to visit with Pat.  So we met him at 11 AM.  He is a man we respect and truly cares for Pat.  He pretty much agreed with the other three oncologists, but he did encourage us to go where we felt we needed to.  He said CCOA here in Tulsa have good doctors but can be expensive.  He also offered to talk with us after we got a plan of treatment here if we would like his input.  Also, he said that there is a clinical trial at MD Anderson that we could consider and would try to get us in there if we would want to do that.  We left the doctor's office feeling depressed and confused. Pat's thoughts were "we can put men on the moon, but we can't cure pancreatic cancer."  As I type this, Pat is speaking to a pancreatic cancer survivor on the telephone now.  A pancreatic cancer support group facilitator spoke with Pat today as we are wanting to visit a support group. The facilitator was named Linda and Pat liked her immediately. As we arrived we were warmly greeted here.  We had a quick dinner in their grill and have settled here in the room.  Noel, our bellman, was just what Pat and I needed.  He encouraged us with scripture and prayed with us.  When we shut the door after speaking to him, we just said "wow". Isn't it just like God to send us a believer to greet us as we stepped into this center.  By the way, this place looks like a hotel and we feel that we should be on vacation.  You are quickly reminded when you look around at the fellow patients that we are not. I started a new book yesterday by Angela Thomas called "Do You Know Who I Am"?  In the middle of writing this book, she experienced a scare of cervical cancer.  As she wrote this book, she too was waiting not knowing what her future dealt. Her journey immediately sounded like ours at times.  What I did come away with my reading of a couple of the chapters this morning was "God wants me to trust Him.  Just Him.  The Lord, God Almighty, Sovereign.  Omniscient. Loving. Faithful.  We are not to trust in our gifts or abilities or experience--not even our spiritual knowledge.  He wants us to trust only in Him.  To believe in His character.  To be certain that His commitment to us is pure and good and eternal.  To fully set our hope in who He is.  2 Corinthians 1:10 says "On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us".   I'll will close for now.  

Good Night!
Paige (Texas born, raised in Oklahoma, returned to Texas, seeking God's direction in Oklahoma, gal!) 
 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thank You From Matt

The following post is from Matt who said I could copy it from his Facebook posting:
I don't even know where to start, but the reason why I'm writing this is to thank everyone for their love and prayers they our pouring out to my family. also it is hard to reply to everyone at once to update them on how I am doing, there are just so many people to reply to so I thought I would do this all at once.
Currently I am still going to school in Waco and it is so hard being away from my family on a weekly basis when all this is going on. This is all just a surprise to my family and I. As most of you know my dad fought off esophageal cancer a few years ago, and I thought we would be done with this mess. Well apparently we are not. In my opinion I feel like God has blessed me with the two most amazing parents who are my prayer warriors for whatever I need. They are a inspiration to me and my strength when I need it most of all.  So my question to God constantly is why?? Well I still haven't found an answer. As a 20 year old I still remember the sayings "my dad can beat up your dad", or "my dad is stronger then your dad", simple things saying my dad is invincible. Isn't that what dads are supposed to be? It's hard hearing someone putting a time limit on my dad's life. because my dad is a very strong man and has an amazing walk with Jesus Christ. I know God has a plan for all of this, and will not take my dads life if he has not fulfilled his purpose on this earth. I don't think God is done with him! At ALL! I believe God is about to show his healing powers through my dad and produce a miracle in front of our eyes, bringing others to Christ through my dad. and giving my dad a strong testimony  and a chance to share it with others for many years to come! 
I'm not afraid to admit it but there are many nights when I just curl up in my bed crying myself to sleep thinking about all this. but knowing God will provide if I have faith, but there is always a sense of fear because my family is my world, and us 5 together could take on the world with our strength in Christ! I know to get through this all I need to be strong around my family and to use my friends to cry on and ask for help, because I know the strength through one person can rub off on 4 others. So I am asking you my friends to keep praying and pouring your love out to us. This is all hard to take all in at once and grasp. I ask you will pray for strength as I am at school to me and my family.  Also I ask prayers for positive thoughts, courage to have faith, peace about all this, comfort, and to have faith that God is in it with us and won't leave us. Pray for my brother as he is only in high school, my sister who is starting a new adventure in the adult life, my mom to stay strong and continue her amazing walk! And for my dad I ask a bunch, that God will give him a peace about this. show him a sense of direction, comfort him knowing he has so many people praying and he is in Gods grip. but most of all I ask that you pray God will HEAL him and allow him to use his testimony!
once again I thank all of you and appreciate the love and prayers. the nice texts/calls I get mean so much knowing Ican lean on all of y'all! 

-Matt

Just Rambling

Hi there!  Sundays are my favorite day of the week and I hope you had a good one.  We started the day off with church.  All three of the kids went with us and it touched my heart as there is no other place I would rather be than worshiping God with my family.  There is nothing sweeter than watching your three children go the altar and pray together. Our church family is so loving and supportive as we begin this journey.  Pat and I finished our evening spending it with our Life Group.  Kelli and Jeff had great veggies and dip for us to  munch on.  If you would have asked Pat and I if we would be a part of a life group several years ago, we would have just laughed at you.  Sharing life authentically with each other has helped us to grow in our walk.  You study the word together, pray together and you are accountable to each other. Plus we laugh a whole lot! Our Life Group has now been together for three years now and they are precious to Pat and I. We love you guys!  Tomorrow is the day we leave for Tulsa. The hardest part, besides the fear of the unknown that lies ahead, is leaving our kids. My girlfriends and I have bragging rights with each other and I hope that I can with you also here in this journal.  It was so hard for Matt to leave today to go back to school.  But, Matt your dad and I are so very proud of you.  As a young boy you had the heart of an old soul and your walk with the Lord grows stronger every day.  Keep up the good grades.  Elizabeth, what a funny, sweet and loving daughter you are and all that you have accomplished just makes your dad and I so proud to be your parents.  Your growing your business stronger each day and that is quite an accomplishment in such a short time, Garrett, you tall thing, as I watch you grow I  see the man you are becoming and the love you have for God.  I also see the great friends you have and what support they are to you,. We are so excited about watching you play basketball in just a few weeks.  What joy that will bring us,  I don't get to talk to my girlfriends as much as I would like.  I was just thinking about some of the things we might be chatting about should we have that leisure right now.  I bet you want to know how my no sugar in my diet is going?  Well, not bad.  You wouldn't believe how many sugar grams that are in everything you eat.  I am waiting for that craving for a sweet tea or Dr. Pepper would go away. Thanks for asking!  I have to remember now that it is "eat to live and not live to eat".  I have a lot to do before we leave tomorrow.  Thank you again from this Easterling family.  Please know that we love you and covet your prayers.  I will catch you tomorrow!  

Hugs!
Loving Him,
Paige
 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lake Pat at the Double E
Greetings from Hico! iPhone apps are appreciated when you don't have internet here in these parts. Reading our guest book gives us such comfort. Knowing someone is praying for you is an amazing feeling. The weather is absolutely perfect. The breeze is blowing through the windows and the screen door. There is also nothing sweeter than a screen door slamming! The boys are fishing in Lake Pat and catching some big ones. Matt keeps calling me about every three catches. Just wanted to check in and say hello. See you in church tomorrow. 

Hugs!
Paige
Xoxo

Friday, October 15, 2010

Starting the Journey

Happy Friday! I have to stop and think to figure out what day it is.   We just got back from our two hour drive from Dallas.  We met with Dr. Bavare. She is an oncologist who specializes in pancreatic cancer also.  Her news was the same as yesterday's doctor, Dr. Berrera.  Dr. Bavare has a clinical trial that Pat can qualify and it is stage 2.  Dr. Berrera's trial was stage 1.  Phase 1 focuses on the safety of a new drug with under 20 patients.  Phase 2 focuses on the doses up to 50 patients and Phase 3 is geared to just one particular kind of cancer.  After Phase 3 it goes to the FDA for approval.  Also, Dr. Bavare does not offer any kind of nutrition in her practice or with her trials.  Now we focus on Tulsa and pray that this is the program God has for us.  We are headed to the ranch.  Hope you have a great weekend!  Before I sign off, I just want to remind you of something you have heard many times.  Cherish each day.  Love each other....your life can change in one moment.  Hugs!
Paige
 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Faith


Hey guys!  It has been a full day. I had to run to Harris and Radiology & Associates to pick up CD films for Pat's appointments.  Today at the last minute we were able to get in with a Dr. Becerra in Dallas out of Baylor.  He is an oncologist who does clinical trials.  Pat qualifies for one of the trials and they are holding a spot for him.   It will be your typical chemo treatment, Gemzar, and a trial drug.  The advantages of the trial is that they would be treating the tumor from two angles.  Also, should the tumor not respond or grow, then they can find another trial.  This trial didn't offer a lot of nutritional education or emphasize the importance of nutrition as we want.  Tomorrow we have another appointment with a doctor out of Dallas Presbyterian.   Every morning when I awake, my first thought is "Is this really happening?"  As I walked into the doors of the cancer center it really hit me. This is really true. How I wish this blog was like my personal blog,  Paige's Petals, where I can share tons of pictures, tell random stories, brag on my kids or even tell one of my A.D.D. stories.  Sure I can do all of that on here, but first of all I do not have that many people reading my personal blog!  Secondly, I do have to watch what I say because Pat's friends are reading this too!  All that said to say that I don't plan to hide the hard and the sad parts of this journey.  Most of my friends know that I am pretty transparent and do not hide my feelings very well, whether happy, sad or just ticked off.  I will tell you that today was not easy.  Realization hit me...this journey will be hard.  We have a huge fight ahead of us.  Do I believe that God can heal Pat?  Absolutely!  But, I have to yield to His will. This is a major life interruption.  Everything according to His good purpose.  God has a purpose in this as this second journey with cancer went through His hands.  In my study of Jonah by Priscilla Shirer she says "Interruptions have a way of revealing whether we really mean it when we say "Lord, not my will but Yours be done."  Pat and I accept this and we are trusting in Our healer.  The bracelet I have been wearing every day reads "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." ~Hebrews 11:1   We can't see the future, but we are held firmly in His Grip!  We love you!

Hugs!
Paige
xoxo